Angela smiles and settles into a deep sense of satisfaction. “When I have spent a day serving patients, I am very pleased,” she says. Angela serves many people every day, changing uniforms as she changes roles. She was an RN in the Cath Lab in her home country of Armenia. She explains that although she and her husband, both profes-sionals, worked very hard, the economic situation of that country limited their growth. Inspired to create a better life for her family, she moved here just a few years ago. Be-cause her credentials do not automatically transfer to the USA, Angela at first accepted a position with St. Mark’s kitchen staff. Now she walks the floors using her skills with patients, drawing blood. With careful determination and planning, Angela’s family has purchased a home and her children are studying in high school and university. While her ethic of hard work is certainly admirable, most of us at St. Mark’s know Angela for her warm heart and kindness!
Angela is a Phlebotomist at St. Mark’s.
St. Mark’s Hospital Chaplain Saundra Shanti wanted to connect patients to their caregivers and employees to each other. That’s why she created the Healing Hands portrait series, featuring black and white photographs and stories of St. Mark’s employees at all levels.
“Our patients and families who go in and out know that this is a nurse, and this is a housekeeper, but they don’t know them as people,” Saundra said. “I wanted to humanize our healthcare community to one another and to our families and patients.”
Each photo is accompanied by a story; some biographical, others are anecdotes of experiences that led employees to become caregivers and healthcare professionals. Twelve portraits are currently displayed throughout the hospital, but a total of 36 photos will be rotated throughout the exhibit for the next two months.
By highlighting personal, inspiring and real stories about the staff who will be caring for patients during what can often be an emotional time, the exhibit builds a sense of community. Patients and families will be able to view caregivers as real people with real stories whom they can relate to and connect with, making the hospital experience more personal.
“When we humanize each other, we care more for one another,” Saundra said. “I wanted our employees to be recognized as valuable human beings apart from their professional titles. I wanted to cultivate interaction and respect across our departments and services.”